Organizational learning in a food industry value chain

Doctorate other than PhD

Dunne, Anthony John. 2006. Organizational learning in a food industry value chain. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

Organizational learning in a food industry value chain

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorDunne, Anthony John
SupervisorChurchill, Rick
Collins, Ray
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages220

[Abstract]: This dissertation documents and evaluates the transformational change process undertaken by a major Australian food manufacturer, Golden Circle Limited. The study focuses on evaluating what impact the change process had on the organization’s capacity to learn and its ability to apply such learning to improve its competitive performance.

The primary data used in this evaluation were generated by three sets of semi-structured interviews conducted with respondents drawn from different levels of management within Golden Circle and its key value chain partners over a two year period.

From January 2004 to December 2005, the company reported a cost reduction of 21% within the Supply Chain and Operations Area, which had been the focus of the transformational change process. This improvement in performance was based on three success factors: the presence of an effective change champion, the formation of cross-functional project teams that were empowered, responsible and accountable, and the presence of a structured process designed to develop a culture of continuous improvement. Improved relationships with the organization’s supply chain partners directly contributed to the improved operational performance through higher quality inputs, better operational alignment and reduced inventory holdings.

The study identified that there were three key factors that were essential for the development of an organizational climate that nurtured learning: leadership that was inclusive, supportive and proactive; a culture of individual responsibility and team accountability; and an organizational structure that promoted open communication and collaboration. Further, this study identified four factors that enabled new knowledge to be applied: the presence of a shared vision, adequate resources (both financial and personnel), a willingness to participate, and the capabilities to participate.

A significant component of this research was the construction, testing and refinement of a model of organizational learning in the context of a value chain that would be of value to future research and managerial practice in the area of organizational adaptation.

KeywordsGolden Circle Limited; change process; organizational adaptation; organizational learning
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350711. Organisational planning and management
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